Rumored in fan circles for weeks, it's now official: Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder's new solo album, "Ukulele Songs," will arrive on May 31 in tandem with a live solo DVD titled "Water On The Road."
Featuring a number of songs that Vedder penned and first played live -- but never released -- nearly a decade ago, "Ukulele Songs" also includes a uke version of Pearl Jam's 2002 track "Can't Keep" and guest vocalists on two tracks: Glen Hansard on the Everly Brothers cover "Sleepless Nights" and Cat Power on "Tonight You Belong To Me." The album's lead single, "Longing To Belong," a Vedder original, is available digitally today (March 21).
The concert DVD, "Water On The Road," meanwhile, captures Vedder playing Pearl Jam tunes, ukulele songs, covers, and selections from his 2007 solo album/soundtrack "Into The Wild" at a pair of Washington D.C. solo shows from Aug. 16 and 17, 2008. It was directed by Christoph Green and Fugazi's Brendan Canty.
The announcement of Vedder's new album and DVD comes as Pearl Jam and its members continue a busy year: Vedder is currently on tour in Australia, while his bandmate, bassist Jeff Ament, told Billboard.com last week that Vedder plans to hit the road again this year.
Pearl Jam will convene in the studio next month to begin recording the follow-up to 2009's "Backspacer," which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. "We did a whole bunch of demos and everybody's got a disc of 25 [songs] right now," Ament said. "April will be the time where we get together and learn to play all these demos and figure out which 12-15 of them float to the top. Hopefully we can get something done this year."
And according to Ament, the details surrounding Pearl Jam's mini-festival celebrating its 20th anniversary -- which will be around Labor Day weekend -- should also be released next month. A Cameron Crowe-directed documentary, "Pearl Jam Twenty," and companion book will be released around the same time.
In the meantime, Ament and Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready are busy on the road with Tres Mts., a new side project featuring King's X frontman dUg Pinnick and former Fastbacks drummer Richard Stuverud. Pearl Jam's Matt Cameron, who does double duty, is currently in the studio with Soundgarden working on that band's first studio album in a 15 years.
Here is the tracklisting for Eddie Vedder's "Ukulele Songs":
Sleeping by Myself
More Than You Know
Longing to Belong
Sleepless Nights (featuring Glen Hansard)
Once in Awhile
Tonight You Belong to Me (featuring Cat Power)
Dream a Little Dream
"Water on the Road" Concert DVD Tracklisting:
Around the Bend
Girl From the North Country
Ed Piano (Instrumental)
Man of the Hour
Ukulele Interlude (Instrumental)
The Canyon (reprise)